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Old 04-12-2003, 00:05   #1 (permalink)
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Why DO we have democracy??

I think Frog Howard has now proved conclusively that democracy no longer works.
Correct me if I am wrong, but in a democracy, aren't the elected representatives supposed to *REPRESENT* the people who elected them??
The reason the system was set up like this was because it was impossible to co-ordinate the entire community to vote on important issues.

You can't tell me that's still the case!
Almost everybody now has the Internet, and a TV...hell, even the people on the dole have them, mostly!
So why do we still rely on a corrupt band of politicians?
Because they want us to! The status quo favours them, and the news services are quite happy to avoid telling anybody there are now other ways.

It would be relatively easy to set up a dedicated channel for unbiased, reasoned discussion of news and current affairs. Using a schedule for the shows, those people who don't have much time to watch telly can still catch up on the essentials by way of the video recorder.

Then, using similar secure programs as are currently used for banks, after a week, two weeks, whatever, votes could be cast on laws, sweeping international policy, approvals of funding for hospitals, etc.

The politicians currently do little more than this anyway - civil servants do a lot of the work putting the budget together and overall running the country - with the instantaneous communication we have now, why can't the populace as a whole make these decisions?
Besides, not paying 2 or 3 hundred people (I *THINK*...don't quote me) the wages that pollies earn.... that'll free a few funds for pulic things ie schooling, which is currently woefully inadequate, speaking as somebody who was IN one not so long ago.



Obviously this sort of system also has its flaws, and would require considerable polishing and planning to implement, but I fail to see why the Australian people should stick with a system of government which has failed them so spectacularly, and which allows high rates of corruption.
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Old 04-12-2003, 00:19   #2 (permalink)
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Okay - why do you think Australian pollies are corrupt?
What recent evidence do you have of this ? Why the hell do we have John Howard earning 250k a year when in the corporate sector he could be earning 600-700k minimum as an executive director ?

I may be hard to swallow, but pollies actually believe they are there for the good of us - the population of australia - they worked their way up the political ranks because they thought they could make a difference. If they wanted to make money, there are better ways to do it with less stress!


Im getting sick of this cynacism whereby people act like howard's earning 100 million a year - he's bloody not! He earns less than my boss !

Your idea of a votes system is flawed because you fail to take account for the time and research members of parliment spend on passing bills, and the government departments that advise them. Yes thats right- there are actually thousands and thousands of public servants out there that advises govt on the best course of action!

Most of the australian public wouldn't be interested in matters that did not effect them - for instance, how many australians would be interested in the 2001 Cosolidations act in regards to the ability ot companies to group themselves as one unit for tax purposes ? Who out there could understand it ? - about 4 groups of people - a Lawyer, an accountant, a company director, and a politician.

Your assuming that everything the government does is supposed to be black or white, this is not the case whatsoever - no bill is straight forward - everything is grey. Sorry but that idea is just too simplistic -this would be what would happen: who wants to pay tax - no one - who in perth would want to pay tax towards refurbishing a hospital in tasmania - no one !
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Old 04-12-2003, 00:53   #3 (permalink)
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Okay, I agree not everybody would be interested. I can accept criticism. I know the basic idea set out above is simplistic: hell, I'm only one person with other things to think about! :)
I threw this up mainly as a thought - we should not have to put up with governments ignoring us because the next election no longer matters to them!

I have no recent evidence of corruption, and I admit people tend to suspect pollies of corruption regardlessn of actual proof. It's paranoia: probably people think this because if they were in the same situation, they'd be looking to make a bit of extra money :)
However, there have been numerous cases in the past: I don't have reference books here to find examples. We all know that corruption is possible and has happened before.

I am talking about replacing the Government body, not civil servants.
I am talking about the people who currently do the research for the government, doing it instead for a dedicated news channel which will air it to the general populace in shorthand. The actual reports would be placed on the Internet for public consumption.
I would propose leaving the existing department bodies i.e. Main Roads in place, and regulating their activities via community input - broadly speaking.

In cases such as the Consolidations Act you mention, I had envisioned the companies putting together a proposal, and then another body researching an argument - presumably the companies pushed the idea to the government in the first place, and the government already has a body in place to research arguments.
Basically, instead of petitioning the government, they would petition the community, who are now the goverment. All the community has to do is listen to the arguments, and then say yes or no; exactly as the government does.

Obviously, some sort of requirement to vote would have to be placed on the populace - that is already here, so it is no major problem.


Just bear in mind, I am not asking the average Joe to debate all this crap; that's what I had envisioned the news services doing, in brief. All I am thinking of having normal people do is listen to the arguments, debate perhaps with friends and family units, and say yes, no, or rework the idea.
This would have the advantage of forcing the citizenry to pay attention to how the country is run, and at least partially eliminating the 'mob rule' tendency, which is only exacerbated by shoddy, one-sided media reporting.
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Old 04-12-2003, 01:44   #4 (permalink)
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I think you've explained yourself a little better in your reply.

To a lesser extent, some of the ideals you describe are actually in place. I can't go into details due to disclosure issues but with regards to corporate governance and taxation issues, the government actually does consult a key cross section of the business community, and I agree that government should consult the public towards legislation, and to a lesser extent our constitution is protected by the people by the requirements of a referendum to change the attached acts.

What you suggest COULD work with a small population - afterall - it did work in rome for a short time to a lesser degree, BUT given present day, there are some key problems as to secrecy issues etc. Some bills are just too big to be explained too! - Ive seen Explanitory Memorandums (summerised bills in laymen's terms) for members of parliment over 400 pages long !

If you ask me what I beleive would make a better democracy for Australia is to allow members of parliment to have unrestricted conscious voting as the US parliment has instead of pretty much compulsary voting with their respective parties.
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Old 04-12-2003, 02:12   #5 (permalink)
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can you guys please write shorter posts? i read these forums at work and you guys are making me have the window open longer, hence increasing my chances of getting caught and facing unemployment and, by gosh, paying for my own internet provider.

hint: dot points are GOOD!

cheers,

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Old 04-12-2003, 02:46   #6 (permalink)
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what really get's up my nose is when peole thik that the system sucks just because the politicians don't do what they agree with.
I am no fan of the leeches, but democracy as we have it is that we have an elected leader and he does what he thinks is in the best interest of the people. If we don;t like him then he gets voted out.

I get really tired of people crying about howard doing things that the majority of the people supposedly don't want. The acid test is the next election, if it really is as bad as you think then he will be out by a land slide.

If you don;t like our society I believe somalia is a free for all .. go there
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Old 04-12-2003, 02:53   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Why DO we have democracy??

Quote:
Originally posted by mongrelEB

It would be relatively easy to set up a dedicated channel for unbiased, reasoned discussion of news and current affairs.
Unbiased? There is no such thing as Unbiased, each person speaks according to their own personal feelings and biases.

Quote:
Originally posted by mongrelEB

Just bear in mind, I am not asking the average Joe to debate all this crap; that's what I had envisioned the news services doing, in brief. All I am thinking of having normal people do is listen to the arguments, debate perhaps with friends and family units, and say yes, no, or rework the idea.
So again we have the issue of Propaganda, who owns the news service? What are their personal views? What do they stand to gain/lose?

What is to stop any particular news service leaving out "select" peices of information. Will the news services be regulated?, if so, by whom and then what are their biases.

I don't know about you, but I don't have the time to become informed to such a degree about issues I would have to vote on and change my country. Don't we elect those we deem to be capable of representing us?

If you don't like the decisions of government, write to your local MP, I'm sure they don't wish to lose their seat and mass backlash from their constituents can be a powerful decision making force

With refinement/modification it may be good but it seems very unworkable in the current state
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Old 04-12-2003, 02:55   #8 (permalink)
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If you want to influence government policy and take an active part in Australia's future then I urge you to join a political party that best fits your beliefs...simple really.
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Old 04-12-2003, 02:56   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by xa-coupe
The acid test is the next election, if it really is as bad as you think then he will be out by a land slide.
Its a shame there isn't really an alternative. Technically we're a democracy, but in reality unless you have ALP or LIB backing you'll never run the country. The last NSW & Victorian elections were great examples of parties being returned to power without the opposition even putting up a fight.
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Old 04-12-2003, 03:12   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Yellow Fire
Its a shame there isn't really an alternative. Technically we're a democracy, but in reality unless you have ALP or LIB backing you'll never run the country. The last NSW & Victorian elections were great examples of parties being returned to power without the opposition even putting up a fight.
I agree with this .. we are down to a two party system with individuals sometimes holding the balance of power .. it's far from a perfect system but it beats a lot of others.. at least if they really are bad we CAN get rid of them ... and hope the other option isn't as bad or worse...
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